interested, but that I'll show them one quick trick and if they like it I'll do some more and if they don't I'll go away. Now while they're thinking about this, I'm already halfway through the trick, and then usually there's no problem once they see it's harmless entertainment and there's no embarrassment involved. In a lot of cases it's a 'fear of the unknown' that tends to make them a bit wary. And don't forget most of the lay public don't even know that close-up entertainment even exists, but if the people really don't want to know, NEVER push it, because one of the attractions of close-up magic (as far as the customers are concerned) is the fact that they don't have to watch it if they don't want to. It is a voluntary service.
Private house parties are a good venue for close-up performers, such as house-warming parties and around Christmas time employers inviting employees up to the house for 'drinkies'. Yet again, the performer can't be choosy about conditions. I've found that working on the floor is as good a place as any. It's almost impossible to find a table that hasn't got food or drink on it, so very often the floor is the only place to work. But you can do 'stand up' close-up magic if there are groups of people standing chatting, etc.
It's advisable to get to the house fairly early to get the 'lie of the land', and also to get to know the guests before the party gets hot. Once the records come on and the lights go out then you might as well go home. Most of the parties that I go to the host uses me as an ice-breaker; it's important to be able to converse with people and it's not a bad idea to do some homework and find out who and what type of people the guests will be. But there's usually no problem here as invariably the guests will be more interested in the performer and his magic than anything else. In my experience, most people ask the same questions:
How long have you been doing magic?
How did you start?
Are you a member of the Magic Circle?
Do you have to invent a trick to become a member?
Can Tommy Cooper really do magic? Once you know the stock questions, you can prepare the stock answers which I'll leave to your individual imaginations.
I've also found that unlike restaurants and other kinds of table venues, it's easier to successfully perform clever-clever material or magicians magic at private house parties; I suppose it's because the guests, circumstances and atmosphere are right for it to work, but generally when performing for a lay audience, the emphasis must be on entertainment.
Up to now I haven't mentioned material or specific tricks. Now obviously this is for each individual to make his own choice. Personally, I would never do a card trick, but I've seen very good close-up entertainers use nothing else. As long as the plot is simple, the effect strong, and the presentation entertaining then it's not really important what objects are used. Like any other facet of show business, the personality of the performer is all important, more so if you're working as close to your audience. To really make it work, you must ¿ive something of yourself to the audience and they will respond by giving something of themselves in return — this is what rapport is. And this is why I do it.
Yet anolher version of the "twisting" effect. This one features an unexpected climax. Five cards are required: a joker and four kings. The joker and the king of hearts have blue backs. Each of the other kings has a different coloured back. The more dissimilar the colours and patterns of these backs, the stronger the finish will be.
At the start of the routine, the order of the packet is, from the face: KC, KD, KS, KH, joker.
1. Hold the packet face up with the right hand from above, fingers at the outer edge, thumb at the inner edge. Display the cards as being four blue-backed kings, via a Flushtration Count. (Briefly: the right hand rotates palm up, displaying a blue back. Rotate the right hand palm down. The left thumb now draws away the top card of the packet (KC). Repeat these actions twice more. You now hold two cards, squared as one, in the right hand (apparently just the KH). Rotate the right hand to display the back of the card(s), and then place the right hand card(s) below the left hand stock. '
2. Flip the packet face down, holding the cards squared in the left hand. Ask the spectators if they know which king is the most difficult to work with. No matter what their answer, inform them that it is the king of hearts who causes trouble. The left hand turns pahn down, and the right hand apparently removes the lowermost card of the now face up packet. In fact, the left fingers glide back the lowermost card (joker) and the right hand removes the next card (KH).
3. The left hand draws the glided card back
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.